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National disaster chief orders Phuket officials to maintain tsunami-warning towers

PHUKET: The chief of the National Disaster Warning Centre (NDWC), Suppapimit Paorik, has ordered local officials to ensure that regular maintenance is carried out on all tsunami-warning towers and related systems.

By Chutharat Plerin

Monday 5 November 2018, 03:53PM

Mr Suppapimit was in Phuket yesterday (Nov 4) to witness first-hand the testing of the warning tower at Kamala Beach, which has repeatedly been reported as failing to sound the alarm during tests.

Mr Suppapimit said that all warning towers in Phuket are functioning 100%.

However, he added, “But the system must have careful, continuous maintenance and people must be involved to check whether the signal is clear or not during testing.”

The warning tower came under special attention early last month after local residents reported that the national anthem could not be heard from the tower during tests. (See story here.)

Mr Suppapimit yesterday confirmed that the Kamala tower is now functioning properly.

“Officials and maintenance technicians have already checked the tower and installed two new solar panels and batteries. Also, local administration staffers have undergone training in terms of maintenance, including making sure that tree branches are pruned to avoid obscuring the solar panel,” he added.

“After the maintenance and testing the signal, it appears that the signal is quite clear,” Mr Suppapimit said.

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“We intended to check more than one point today (Nov 4),” he added, “but due to time constraints we can check only the Kamala tower.

“Therefore, I have ordered technicians to check and fix another point, which is expected to be finished tomorrow (Nov 5),’’ he added.

Mr Suppapimit did not identify exactly which other warning tower needed urgent attention.

“The tsunami warning towers can work 100%, but they needed continuous maintenance, which instructed the local administrations to do already,” he said.

“Moreover, we ask for the people of Phuket to pay attention during the signal tests. If you notice any problems, please inform to Phuket Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (Tel: 076-218444) so they can coordinate technicians to fix the problem.

“Alternatively, you can contact the Emergency Coordination Center 24-hour hotline by calling 192*,” Mr Suppapimit added.

* For the Emergency Coordination Center Facebook page, click here.



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Rorri_2 | 07 November 2018 - 06:05:29

It's Wednesday morning, anyone hear the Tsunami warning system being tested, if so, how effective was it, hearing the national anthem, is not testing it, do the evac tone generators work, can they be heard away from the beach, can they be triggered remotely, eg, from the Tsunami warning centre.

Pascale | 06 November 2018 - 15:42:54

Rorri, telephone numbers are given at the end of the article.If you get the feeling that they are faulty in the future,please call them.Obviously you did follow their conditions or test running's for a while now.Keep up with that good job,so all of us can sleep better.

Rorri_2 | 06 November 2018 - 15:13:32

I guess most of us knew some, if not many, were not working, but even if they get them working, are they tests remotely, to ensure a Tsunami alert will trigger them, all activate at the same time, I do hope they do not rely on individuals "running" from tower to tower activating them, this is how they currently "test" them, and why play the national anthem, do they actually sou...

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